UFC 184 Fight Breakdown: Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington

holly-holms The co-main event of UFC 184 is a three-round women’s bantamweight bout between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Holm is a -900 favorite (bet $900 to win $100) while Pennington is a +600 underdog (bet $100 to win $600). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Holm at -505 and Pennington at +335, and the public is so far all over Holm. I agree that Holm should be a heavy favorite entering this fight as I view it as a mismatch. Here’s why. Holm (7-0) is making her UFC debut with a ton of hype surrounding her. The 33-year-old American had an amazing boxing career before she transitioned to MMA in 2011, and the results so far have been spectacular as she’s undefeated in mixed martial arts with a 7-0 record including six of those wins coming by way of knockout. Holm is an incredible striker, and in my opinion there is no better female striker in the entire division. Her boxing is outstanding, and her kicking game has looked amazing since coming over to MMA as well. She also has a good chin, great cardio, and a very high fight IQ. She has that “it” factor as well and the UFC knows this, which is why she is getting a co-main event slot in her UFC debut. Her grappling is generally untested, but she has been training at Jackson’s – Wink for a very long time and there’s no doubt she’s prepared for her fights to go to the mat. I think Holm’s a special talent, and I fully expect her to have a tremendous UFC this weekend when she takes on Pennington is one of the more blatant mismatches on the entire UFC 184 card. Pennington (5-4) is a solid women’s bantamweight fighter who is a tough out for anyone in the division. The 26-year-old American is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Ashlee Evans-Smith and Roxanne Modafferi, with his lone loss in the Octagon coming to Jessica Andrade. Pennington has a sub-.500 record, but generally she’s fought a high level of competition and I’d argue she is better than her record indicates. Pennington is just a tough, hard-nosed fighter. She is pretty solid on the feet with a decent boxing attack and a solid that, and she’s pretty aggressive so she’s always walking forward. She has an underrated ground game as well as she showed in her last fight against Evans-Smith. However, her wrestling isn’t that great and her striking defence is very mediocre. Pennington is a solid gatekeeper at 135lbs, but she’s no title contender, and the UFC is feeding her to the wolves here to get Holm a solid win in her UFC debut, and that’s why you see the line the way it is. This is definitely the most lopsided fight on the entire card in my eyes. Pennington is a decent gatekeeper, but that’s it. Holm should be able to stop any takedown attempts by Pennington, keep this fight on the feet, and blast Pennington to bits, possibly even scoring a rare knockout by a female UFC fighter. I really like Holm here and think she’s definitely someone to throw into a parlay this weekend because I don’t see any way she loses this fight. It’s just a shame the public steamed the line so high, but still, Holm wins.

Written by Adam Martin.

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